- - Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Neither the Islamic State (aka ISIS), Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, Russia’s extraterritorial ambitions, nor China’s human rights violations are the subject of President Obama’s greatest foreign-policy achievement. Instead, Mr. Obama announced on Wednesday that he has persuaded China to join in a declaration of war against global warming, or climate change, or whatever they’re calling the scam this week.

Mr. Obama put on a Mao suit of royal purple silk and flew off to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, an ideal stage to present his agreement with President Xi Jinping to restrict the emission of carbon dioxide, the harmless gas everybody breathes in and breathes out. “As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases,” said Mr. Obama, “we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change.”

The timetable they worked out would reduce America’s carbon-dioxide output “26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.” Mr. Obama called this “a major milestone in the U.S.-China relationship, and it shows what’s possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge.”

According to the Energy Information Agency, America’s energy sector produced 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2005. Output last year was already down to 5.4 billion, a 10 percent decrease, but not because windmills and solar panels have become fashionable — wind and solar power output is but an asterisk on the energy charts. Carbon dioxide is down because the use of energy plummets in a recession.

Carbon dioxide is the byproduct of the Industrial Revolution’s greatest achievements, automobiles and electric-power plants. The reduction in carbon dioxide is a reflection of throttling factories and suffocating economic growth. The latest Department of Transportation statistics show vehicle travel is down from 2005 levels despite a 7 percent increase in the population. People aren’t on the roads driving to work because they don’t have jobs. That’s good for easing traffic, but not so good for the man who doesn’t have a job.

The climate pact is worthless. Mr. Obama will be gone in two years time, and his climate policies were trounced on Nov. 4, particularly in Kentucky and West Virginia, where the war on coal is a hot topic.

What this agreement does is provide convenient cover for the Environmental Protection Agency as it prepares to take unprecedented unilateral action to shut down power plants with new rules on ozone, cross-state air pollution and power plant “greenhouse gas” emissions.

If these rules are allowed to take effect, a pummeled economy will take still greater hits. Carbon dioxide will take a dive along with the economy. To what end? Mr. Obama says “it puts us on a path to achieving the deep emissions reductions by advanced economies that the scientific community says is necessary to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change.”

Mr. Obama doesn’t enumerate what said “effects” are, and for a reason. There aren’t any. The planet hasn’t warmed for 18 years, the seas aren’t rising, there haven’t been any killer hurricanes since 2005. None of the predictions of climate doom have come true, or even close.

China’s promise isn’t new. The Cato Institute’s Patrick J. Michaels observes that China pledged to reduce carbon dioxide at a United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen five years ago. China understands the deal, like the talk, is meaningless. The members of China’s Central Committee can laugh at the gum-chewing rube who has thrown away America’s global economic advantage. The Chinese leaders are grateful, of course. He has given them the opportunity to catch up.

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